Did you know that according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), of the nearly 33,000 roadway fatalities in 2012, there were 3,328 fatalities and approximately 421,000 injuries in distracted driving-related crashes?
Those are some pretty sobering statistics. It seems like every day I hear of some car crash involving texting and driving, but texting is not the only cause of distracted driving.
I am a mom with two little kids. All the moms out there should be able to relate to this. You are out doing errands and one child needs their water bottle. Then another child needs a snack. Then they are both yelling because you vowed not to turn on the Frozen soundtrack again in the car. It seems like there is always something, and often, instead of pulling over, I try and get what the child needs while still driving. Is this safe? No, absolutely not.
I haven’t been a big fan of cars for a very long time. Back when I was 15, I was in a serious car crash that put me in the hospital for several weeks with a long list of injuries due to the driver speeding. Because of this I have certain anxieties when it comes to driving with my kids.
Over the past several years it seems like the attention drivers are giving to actual driving is diminishing. There are so many directions that your attention can go in the car, whether it is to your phone that keeps dinging with a new text message, your children in the back seat needing something, changing the radio station, or trying to eat a quick meal on the go.
We all need to remember, the most advanced safety feature of any vehicle is the driver. The AAOS and the Auto Alliance urges all drivers to keep their most sophisticated safety features engaged at all times: eyes on the road and hands on the wheel.
As parents, we are the example, and what our children see is what they will most likely end up doing when they are older. This is especially important to talk about when it comes to teens and driving. It is our responsibility to show them that paying attention to driving is our first priority, not answering that text.
Will you make the commitment to #DecideToDrive with me?
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.